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Ultra Mobile PC

14 Mar
I think the best thing to happen for computing in a long time is taking place right now.  For a few years now computers have not needed the speed and size of the hardware that is being produced.  This has slowed processor development and driven PC prices down.  Laptops have even followed this same trend and seem to be getting larger and larger with screen sized as large as 17".
 
Finally though it appears the next evolution of the PC has arrived.  UMPCs will be available in the next month and will completely change how people view their computers. 
 
I think that most people have been misguided by comparing these to Pocket PCs and other hand held devices.  Where I see this device making the most impact is the notebook and even desktop market.  This device has the opportunity to become a companion that  every person in a family would want.  They will be able to watch their movies, check and send mail, get directions, play games, and browse the internet in a much less confined interface than was provided via the handheld devices.
 
With solid gaming platforms like the Xbox 360 and PS3 computers will be used less and less to play games.  This has by and large been the ultimate factor in pushing PC development.  With this lessened Vista will be the most intense program that many people will use on their computer.  That means that in 3 years a UMPC under $1000 will be able to do everything that someone’s desktop or notebook could do, but be completely mobile in an instant.  No need to syncronize, no need to get watered down versions of your software. 
 
I truely think that this is what my children will view as a PC.  I’ve thought for a long time that the future of computers would stop become less how fast they can be and more how useful they will be.  I think this is where UMPCs will lead the way towards computers not being large boxes in our house but small devices that a person could keep with them at all times.